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Timetable for Pre-Health Students

Before reading further: a simple checklist is no guarantee for acceptance into any medical school program. A structured timeline can give students a rough idea of the possible options as they plan their college years with a goal of entering some type of health care profession.

Whether you are hoping to matriculate into a medical/dental school immediately after graduation or several years later, you should plan to start the application process 18 months prior to the time you wish to begin your program. Most people underestimate the time involved in this process. Moreover, it is advantageous to plan ahead for early completion of your application since most medical schools have rolling admissions

For those of you hoping to start your programs immediately after graduation, you should begin this process by the Spring of your junior year. A recommended timeline for undergraduates with this goal in mind follows. Although the time frame will change for each applicant, the sequential guidelines remain roughly the same.


  • Meet with Dr. Gillie, Pre-Health advisor, to identify yourself as a pre-health student
  • Begin required premedical courses; consult with an academic advisor
  • Prepare tentative schedule for completing required premedical courses by the end of your junior year
  • Complete community service in a health care setting
  • Attend pizza lunches, even those that seem outside your area of interest right now
  • Research areas of health care other than the MD, you may find the perfect niche 
  • Continue to self-reflect and assess your motivation for a career in medicine
  • Think about where you might shadow or do an internship later in a health setting of some type 
  • Involve yourself in campus activities you find meaningful, quality of participation is much more important than quantity
  • Join pre-health club

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  • Continue to take premedical courses 
  • Continue medically-related volunteer experiences 
  • Choose a major 
  • Continue to attend pizza lunches. Get to know faculty - particularly in areas related to premedical requirements. You are likely to want reference letters from them. 
  • Continue to self-reflect and assess your motivation for a career in medicine; an honest self-evaluation of strengths and weaknesses and a plan to get to your goals will be helpful. 
  • Consider summer research, either here or at another college or university
  • Complete a medically-related internship this summer
  • Start saving for entrance exam fees, application fees, interview travel costs, etc.

THIRD YEAR (or 18 months prior to matriculation)

  • Complete premedical course requirements 
  • Prepare a resume and personal statement
  • Enroll in Biology Junior Seminar
  • Set up a Pre-Health Committee to write letters of recommendation 
  • Prepare for and take the relevant admissions test:
    • MCATs (Medical College Admission Test) in April, May, or early June - registration materials available at http://www.aamc.org
    • DAT (Dental Admission Test) - registration materials available at http://www.ada.org/prof/ed/testing/dat.asp 
    • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or other admission test depending on type of program 
  • Research medical/dental schools of interest 
  • Apply to your professional school application service before July 1 if possible:
    • AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) application - registration materials available at http://www.aamc.org 
    • AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) application - registration materials available at https://aacomas.aacom.org 
    • AADSAS(Associated American Dental Schools Application Service) application - registration materials available at http://www.adea.org/AADSAS/default.htm 
  • Continue to pursue extracurricular activities that provide medically-related experience 
  • Continue to self-reflect and assess your motivation for a career in medicine; complete the Elmira College internship requirement in an area that will help you with this assessment

FOURTH YEAR (or 12 months prior to matriculation)

  • Prepare for and attend interviews at medical/dental schools
  • If you have not already done so, file application through AMCAS/AACOMAS/AADSAS (Check deadlines for specific schools – rolling admissions applies, so if you did not apply early, consider waiting!)
  • Have references/committee letter sent as secondary applications arrive
  • Continue to pursue extracurricular activities that will provide medically-related and/or community service experience
  • Receive notification of action taken on your application